New Orleans Saints at L.A. Rams Preview
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, September 15, 2019
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
LOS ANGELES – Nearly nine months after they were done in by one of the more controversial no-calls in NFL history to help the Rams advance to the Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints seek a measure of revenge when they visit Los Angeles on Sunday. The Rams defeated the Saints 26-23 in overtime in last year’s NFC Championship Game, but it was a blatant pass interference on cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman late in regulation that was missed by referees and is still being discussed.
“I didn’t expect it to get that much pub, but it is what it is,” Robey-Coleman told reporters of the play which forced New Orleans to settle for a field goal and later caused the league to change the rule such that pass interference could be reviewed. “They made it into what it is and the league made it a rule. Just got to live with it now and it’s a rule that the whole league is going to have to adjust to.”
The top two teams in the NFC last year are on that path again after both picked up narrow victories last week to open the 2019 season. Drew Brees threw for a pair of touchdowns and picked up 36 of his 370 passing yards on a brilliant last-gasp drive that led to the Saints’ game-winning field goal in a 30-28 triumph over Houston at home Monday night. Los Angeles raced to a 13-0 lead in Carolina before hanging on for a 30-27 victory.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -2.5. O/U: 52
ABOUT THE SAINTS (1-0): Brees stressed the company line about treating this as just another game, but he admitted the sting of the NFC title game loss will never go away. “Still haven’t, never will,” Brees told reporters when asked how long it took to forget the blown call and OT loss. “But, when you say forgotten about you have to find a way to compartmentalize it to the point where you can move on in a positive way. I found a way to do that, but as far as just the events, you live and learn and sometimes things don’t go your way and you’ve got to find a way to come out better on the other side.” Star running back Alvin Kamara ran for 97 yards and had 72 receiving yards in Week 1, while Michael Thomas was Brees’ top target with 10 catches for 123 yards.
ABOUT THE RAMS (1-0): Todd Gurley was hampered by a knee issue at the end of last season and managed only four carries in the NFC title game, but he looked pretty good in Week 1 while mostly sharing the touches out of the backfield with Malcolm Brown. Gurley finished with 97 yards on 14 carries while Brown added 53 yards and scored twice, and both will be taking aim at a New Orleans defense that allowed Houston to pile up 180 rushing yards on only 23 carries. Quarterback Jared Goff followed up his difficult Super Bowl performance with an uneven opener, completing 23-of-39 passes for 186 yards with a TD and an interception against Carolina.
- Rams S Eric Weddle (concussion, laceration) is expected to play Sunday.
- Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr., who is questionable due to an illness, caught all seven balls thrown his way in Week 1 for 101 yards.
- The Rams have won the last three meetings at home, two of which took place when the franchise was in St. Louis.